All in Classroom Management

Building Teamwork at the Beginning of the Year with STEM

Did you know that STEM activities are a great way to build classroom community and teamwork at the beginning of the year?

Unfortunately,  STEM challenges can tend to be used as a classroom competition where students and groups are competing against each other. While classroom competitions can be fun, the goal of STEM should be to encourage a growth mindset in students.

How do we accomplish this?

4 No Opt Out Strategies to Increase Student Participation

Mrs. Miller is in the middle of a thrilling lesson on symbolism when she asks the class what types of symbolism they noticed in chapter 12.

She scans the room, and her eyes lock on Billy, who just happens to be looking at anything and anyone other than Mrs. Miller.

"Billy, what types of symbolism did you notice in chapter 12?"

Billy thinks for a moment, he scans the room and locks eyes with a few of his peers as if to silently say, HELP. After a few moments Billy realizes no one is coming to his aid and he responds to Mrs. Millers question with, "um, I don't know.

As teachers we have all experienced moments similar to this interaction with Billy. The question is, what do we do when a student is reluctant or unable to answer a question?

How NOT to Reward Your Students!

There are so many different philosophies surrounding student rewards. As a busy teacher, it can be so easy to gravitate towards what is most comfortable or the latest trends rather than best practice.

Last year I began teaching at a new school that frowned upon the use of a treasure chest. Despite knowing that fact I had a hard time letting go of my old friend. In fact, I actually continued to use it despite the school policy. (Shh! Don't tell my principal.) 

This year I finally got the courage to ditch my treasure chest. The following are FIVE ways to NOT reward your students that I learned in the process.